This Isn’t Me details my journey into a heroin addiction and recovery, and then subsequent alcohol addiction that lasted 27 years. It is about the horrifying shock of realizing that my alcoholism was impossible to overcome, even with all the available interventions and professional support I engaged with for over 15 years, when I had successfully overcome heroin with none.
It details the relationship between myself and my now 19 year old son. It is about being a single mother and the absolute joy of the gift of him. A joy that turned into the crippling nightmare of severe post-natal depression, requiring in-house psychiatric care on two occasions, and my return to drinking and then self-harm to cope.
It tells of my despair on realizing that I would die an alcoholic after being informed that my liver was damaged. Of the deceptions and self-disgust, of my complete desperation to be different. Of how it affected my son’s life before he realized it was alcohol that changed his mother from the daytime loving, caring one into the cold and emotionally unavailable shell I became in the evenings. Of his realization, during his teenage years that alcohol came before him and that I was unable to stop, even when he begged me too.
It then details the miraculous, magenta moment just over two years ago when I just stopped drinking. No last drink, I just stopped. Of the “how” and “why” of my stopping.
It is about my son’s initial distrust in my sobriety and my determination to show him that I was sober, by changing my behaviour, by doing something different. As part of my apology and acknowledgment of the damage I had done, I started my own nutrition and weight loss business YOUtrition and together we are building our brand.
It tells of my total commitment to helping him heal as much as possible in a healthy way where his hurts and confusion are discussed and talked through, as and when he needs those conversations.
I write about where I am now, where we are now in our relationship, our closeness, our friendship, our love and understanding.
My sobriety is easy and I do not attend any interventions or have any therapy or support. I just don’t drink. Even after my first sober, truly painful experience of loss of a loved one, alcohol did not enter my mind. I even have alcohol in the house, I just don’t see it.
My book is not a “woe is me” exercise. I do not attempt to deflect responsibility away from myself or to apportion blame to anyone else for my choices. I own both my drunkenness and my sobriety.
It is simply honest, painful, uplifting and inspiring. It offers a different view on recovery, which works for me so easily where accepted interventions didn’t.
It is ultimately a letter of love to my son, an apology , which he can re-read as he grows stronger, one that will help him know and understand that he always was, and always will be my Number One.